I slipped on a pair of the recently-launched Puma Run XX Nitro shoes and relished the comfort of the well-designed shoes and the prospect of testing them on three trail runs.
The “XX” in the name stems from the woman-specific double X chromosome DNA sequence. The S$199 Run XX Nitro upholds Puma’s “Run for Her” motto.
Hence it’s a woman’s shoe with a female-specific design, offering an updated fit that hugs a woman’s foot at the heel, instep, and arch.
I shall address the three salient features of this new shoe: The Pumagrip outsole; The Nitro foam cushioning; the mono-mesh breathable uppers.
Prior to wearing the shoes on the trails, I took part in Puma’s media launch of the Run XX Nitro and completed a 3km run through Orchard Road. The finishing point was Bugis Plus where we were introduced to and experienced the innovative features of the shoe.
Running up the hill at Fort Canning along the launch-run route was where the shoes’ advanced Pumagrip sole was put to the test, and passed with flying colours. I felt the game-changing traction. The durable rubber compound provides multi-surface traction.
I decided to test this on other terrains.
I headed to Chestnut Park, known for its gruelling road-bike circuits. Some of the trails in this Nature Park are shared tracks. I opted for the Gangsa Trail which leads to the T15 Trail in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
This 4.4 km trail that ends at the Mandai Lake Road has varied terrain; perfect for testing the shoes. There are parts with a steep gradient and lots of gravel. The Pumagrip lived up to its name. It gave me stability as I ran on the uneven surface.
Next I headed to the Windsor Park Tree Top Walk/MacRitchie Trail. This was by far my best run despite the steps that had to be scaled. The shoes never felt more comfortable. I attribute it to the cushioning. The firmer Nitro midsole is the perfect balance of durability and light weight, offering increased stability for longer distances.
It is a midsole engineered specifically for the female form and boasts Runguide, a firm density rim which promotes proper alignment and keeps the foot centred through each stride. I have a high instep and arch so the shoes were fine for a decent distance. Apprehensive about my tendonitis at my heel area, I was cautious as I ran but, surprisingly, didn’t need to stop too often for the shoes kept carrying me through.
Finally, I ran on a linear-paved track on the Punggol-Coney Island circuit. With hardly any gradient on this run, the shoes tapped into the advanced Nitro foam technology which provides superior responsiveness and cushioning in a lightweight package. What this means is the ultra-responsive cushy lightweight foam protects your feet on the inside of the shoe. So I could run faster on this stretch.
It was literally a breeze, and cool, because of the third feature: the engineered mono mesh uppers which control the moisture as you run. The shoe’s woven mesh uppers are super light and breathable. I didn’t feel any burn.
This pair of Deep Orchid-Metallic Silver-Puma Black Run XX Nitro shoes will be my new best friend on the run.